“I was diagnosed with Dominant Optic Atrophy, which means that I am legally blind. Basically my optic nerves are a little jacked up. The tunnel in your eyes that connects your nerves and what you actually see is supposed to be clear, but for me it’s kinda foggy. To describe how I see, it’s like looking into a camera that’s out of focus. When I was in grade school, I didn’t notice it, because my teachers made sure that I was comfortable. I never even knew that my papers and my homework were being enlarged. I was sat in front of the classroom, but it wasn’t like, ‘Oh, you’re blind so this is what’s happening.’ She made the situation feel very comfortable and safe as all my teachers did. Fast forward to high school, my band directors were always so helpful in enlarging my music, especially pep band. We figured out a way to have my enlarged music in my lyre and flip folder so that I could still participate and not have to memorize so much music.
“I was told before that glasses couldn’t help me at all. They actually help clear things up a little, but I’m still legally blind. I remember getting bullied in high school for my eyes, which is what made me go to the eye doctor. They did a test and they were able to help me out. Although it doesn’t completely fix my vision, it still helps. I remember making a post on Snapchat with my new glasses that said, ‘No more blind jokes.’
“I’m in the process of getting a career as a 911 dispatcher. My previous employer didn’t give me tasks that required good eyesight, but when you’re becoming a 911 dispatcher you have so many screens in front of your face, so I’m really concerned about that. I’m worried about getting rides to work, because they’re 12 hour shifts so that will be difficult, but there is a taxi service for the disabled that can help out.”